GONG - Angels egg (1973)
Space Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Prog Rock
Bass - Mike Howlett
Drums, Percussion - Pierre Moerlen
Flute, Saxophone - Didier Malherbe
Guitar - Steve Hillage
Guitar, Vocals - Daevid Allen
Producer - Giorgio Gomelsky
Synthesizer, Vocals - Tim Blake
Vocals [Spacewhisper] - Gilli Smyth
Recorded in France, August 1973 by the Manor Mobile.
01 Other Side Of The Sky (7:40)
02 Sold To The Highest Buddha (4:25)
03 Castle In The Clouds (1:09)
04 Prostitute Poem (4:52)
05 Givin' My Love To You (0:43)
06 Selene (3:38)
07/a Flute Salad (2:09)
07/b Oily Way (3:37)
08 Outer Temple (1:09)
09 Inner Temple (2:34)
10 Percolations (0:46)
11 Love Is How You Make It (3:27)
12 I Never Glid Before (5:36)
13 Eat That Phone Book (Coda) (3:12)
14 Ooby-Scooby Doomsday
or The D-Day Dj's Got The D.D.T. Blues (5:09)
link to download:
Psychedelic, electro jazz crossover, anarcho-pataphysical hippy idealist revolutionary nursery-rhyme, goddess mantra-trance delirium "Whatever Gong may mean to you, it's well possible that it means the very opposite to someone else." "I was in the position of being a psychedelic usher at the cinema of the French mind." - Daevid Allen
No other band has such immediate word association with 'hippies' as Gong, the psychedelic vision of Australian beatnik Daevid Allen. Gong emerged in the full flood of psychedelia, appearing on stagein 'pothead pixie' hats, and committing to vinyl a space-jazz soundtrack for getting stoned to - a notion that informed many of their songs, along with a breezy eroticism and sub-Tolkien allegory. Strangely enough, twenty years on, the old albums stand up surprisingly well, especially by comparison with the output of their more earnest mates in the era's progressive-rock scene. The story of Gong centres around those of Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth, Allen has been involved with performance his entire life. He pioneered 'Beat Poetry' and 'Poetry and Jazz' in Melbourne, Australia in the late fifties. He helped introduce 'Performance Poetry' and 'Free' Jazz to London in the early-sixties, and had by 1966 fallen in with the Canterbury scene in England, lending his guitar and poetry bohemianism to the embryonic Soft Machine. Within a year, however, and after just one single with the Softs, Allen left the band, having been refused re-entry into England after a French tour. He then settled in Paris, where he set up a proto-version of Gong, recalled as 'a large number of musicians and singers improvising around nothing for hours on end, completely stoned'. Poetess Gilli Smyth has been hailed as a pioneer in the struggle to achieve gender equality, and her voice in early Gong started to be heard at a time when, apart from other pioneers and freethinkers, this shattered conventions and was considered pretty radical. They shared similar spiritual visions of the purpose of what they were doing, a passion for poetry, an absurdist sense of humour and a desire to push back the barriers in life and art.
Gong developed in the highly charged atmosphere of Paris in the late sixties. Shaped and influenced by a mixture of the political and philosophical theories of "anarchy", Eastern, Arabic and Jazz music, ritual theatre, mime, beat poetry, tape loop experimentation, the Goon show and more. They developed a unique style of avant-garde psychedelic mantric music and created, in the Planet Gong, an entire world where all the social norms and institutions were turned topsy turvy and absurdity held sway. Gong's success abroad led to them becoming one of the first signings to Richard Branson's Virgin label.
Over the years Gong has been the formative home to a large number of high calibre international musicians, the alchemical crucible for a widely diverse range of musical styles, an influence on hundreds of bands and consistently odd. Each new musician in the ever changing Gong saga has joined already passionately steeped in a different musical or artistic tradition Be-Bop, Classical and Indian music, pure pychedelia, performance poetry, esoteric sufi music theory, modern atonal classical percussion, end of the pier music-hall, ambient music (before the term had been coined).....and even Atlantean Temple dance all played a part in forming the unique Gong sound But inspired empassioned individuals alone do not make a band. Something less tangible has always made the eclectic mixture gel.
"This excellent 1973 release by Gong was the second installment in the Radio Gnome Trilogy. The lineup on this album is absolutely classic Gong and includes Tim Blake (VCS3 and mini-moog synthesizers); Pierre Moerlen (drums); Mike Howlett (bass); Daevid Allen (guitar, vocals); Didier Maherbe (woodwinds); Steve Hillage (guitar); and Gilli Smyth (space whisper, vocals). A great deal of the music on Angel's Egg is very spacey, which is driven largely by Tim Blake's atmospheric synthesizer work, along with Gilli Smyth's cosmic and heavily-echoed "space whisper". On the other side of the coin however, is some seriously virtuosic drumming by Pierre Moerlen and alternately spacey and heavy guitar work by Steve Hillage. Bassist Mike Howlett is no slouch either and his thunderous playing really drives everything along. As a general rule, this band was always comprised of superb musicians and their ability to swing from jazz rock, to space rock, to spacey free-form and back again always impressed me. In addition to virtuosity, this music exhibits the quintessentially whimsical Canterburian sense of humor, which is expressed through the surreal and "dadaist" lyrics of Daevid Allen. EMI did a great job of remastering this album"
part 2 : next time!